Obituary: Lila Valerie Levi-Cooper May 7, 1935 – Dec. 21, 2015

LILA VALERIE LEVI-COOPER May 7, 1935 Dec. 21, 2015

Lila Valerie Levi-Cooper shuffled off this mortal coil at 11:45 pm December 21, 2015. She was a resident of Los Alamos, New Mexico since 1979. She was born May 7, 1935 in San Francisco, California. Her body will be cremated at Rivera Family Funeral Home and Crematory in Espanola, New Mexico.

Val, as she was known to family and friends, was an enthusiastic skier, hiker, backpacker, and gardener. She was also an accomplished cook, as evidenced by her extensive collection of cookbooks. She leaves behind a number of scrapbooks with photographs, menus, itineraries, etc. chronicling her life and travels. The scrapbooks are veritable works of art, preserving good times and history. She was a dedicated housewife, saying that in that role she could never retire. She was a meticulous house painter and drywall artist.

In the mid-50s she attended the University of California at Berkeley, receiving a bachelor’s degree in General Studies. She studied an additional year to receive a teaching credential. She loved Romance languages and was somewhat fluent in Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish. Her translations of Italian opera libretti outshone those translations found in the libretti.

Valerie loved opera and theatre. The Santa Fe opera was a favorite, although she spent many an opera night at the San Francisco Opera. She was active in Los Alamos Little Theatre and took charge of the renovation of the yard around the Theatre. She was awarded Sustaining Contributor status by the Los Alamos Little Theatre.

She will be missed by her brother Darrell Levi of Prescott, Arizona, her nephew Marc Levi of Ventura, California, her nephew Tod Levi of Toronto, Canada, her son Peter William Hartman of Brentwood, California, her husband of 36 years Richard Cooper of Los Alamos, New Mexico, her daughters in law Erika Gorman of Los Alamos and Lindsay Koehler of Greenville, Alabama and her son-in-law Preston Cooper of Colorado Springs, Colorado among many others too numerous to name.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos in their new building on Sage Street at some time to be determined next summer.

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